I don’t think ten years ago when the SimCity franchise was in all of its glory I don’t think anyone could have ever guessed that it would be making its way to the DS here in 2007. It just amazes me that we have come to a point where one of the most popular city building simulation games could even have the idea of being compressed into a handheld version. The big question is can Electronic Arts manage to compress the game onto the DS? Read our full review of SimCity DS to find out!


I will admit right now that I was extremely skeptical when I heard there were taking the classic SimCity franchise to the Nintendo DS. I could see how using the touch screen could be very beneficial for this style of game, but making such a large scale to a small handheld seemed like a daunting task. However let’s get into our review of SimCity DS to see how it ended up turning out.

In general, this is a pretty standard version of SimCity just scaled down on the DS. You have the standard play mode along with a tutorial mode. Although I am a pretty seasoned SimCity player, I thought for review purposes I would go through the tutorial, which does a fantastic job of getting you up to speed with the game. It gives you just the right amount of information and still allows you to learn as you go through the game as well.

Once you get into the actual game of SimCity DS you will choose a spot on the map, which are variations of difficulty ranging from easy to hard. Following that it is SimCity all over again, lay down some residential, industrial, and commercial properties, power plants police stations and hospitals and watch your city grow. The formula is the same as it was when the first game originated, and to be perfectly honest outside of the touch screen not much else has changed.

SimCity much like The Sims is a game that you make of it what you may, sometimes it’s fun to build a huge city and then tear it apart with national disasters. Other times you just want to see how far you can actually take a city. The game unfortunately doesn’t expand itself any further then that. So for those of you who have played the several renditions of the game won’t be in for that new of an experience. The game is workable but you also have to take into account the small screen, which makes what is an extremely large game sometimes really hard to see. Let’s just say if you need reading glasses, this is a game that you will need to put those on.

When it’s all said and done, it’s still hard to put this game down. It manages to use the touch screen to great effectiveness, it has an extremely deep simulation type experience, and finally it just comes together and works. It’s not the best experience, it has some limitations with the smaller screen, but all in all it is still a well constructed experience.


The biggest issue I had with this title was not so much any development issues but more so the fact that the game really is hard to see and can be strenuous on the eyes. This is because they have to squeeze in so much thing on the screen that at times it can be really hard to see everything that is going on. Otherwise the visuals are good, the colors are vibrant and all in all it works. It just isn’t the best looking DS game we have ever seen either.

Fun Factor

There is a specific crowd that loves simulation games and there are those that don’t, and SimCity won’t change anyones mind. However for a seasoned fan such as myself I didn’t mind having the ability to take the game on the road. The game itself I don’t believe was ever intended to be a portable game, but the implementation was not bad at all. I have to say that for all the wrongs the game has the rights to make up for them. The overall experience is still an enjoyable one just one that takes sometime to get used to.


It is never really a bad thing to hear a new SimCity title is coming out, there is still that excitement that boils in my stomach thinking of the good old days. The DS version doesn’t go more then a step or two away from the classic feeling, and really the only noticeable difference was the touch screen interaction and the portability. Otherwise fans of SimCity looking for a new fix can now take this classic city simulator with you on the DS.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.